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Why are people pressuring me to 'wean' my dd, 6, from my presence? - Page 4

post #61 of 97
You know that saying about needing to give our kids roots and wings. I think you've given her great roots. Deep roots. Maybe it's time for her to practice using her wings.

Have you watched baby birds? The ones that nest near my window don't practice fluttering when mom is watching. They wait for her to be out of sight and then practice. They're not flying right away. They still bed down together and eat the food she brings but they still practice for "someday." They need to build up their muscles so that when they do fly they won't flop to the ground.

You know your family best and what your dd needs. If you don't feel comfortable with outside activities maybe you could start with giving her time alone with other family members. A fishing trip alone with dad would be great fun. What about time to play at her cousins house without you? Or an afternoon with grandma? I loved spending time alone with my grandma at her age. Even if your extended family doesn't do everything by the AP handbook, these relationships are vital for kids. They need to be able to have their own relationships with people without feeling that they have to go through you.

I'm not judging you. Each person has different needs and comfort levels. Just wanted to give you some ideas.
post #62 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I'm curious why you keep bringing this up and associating it as having anything to do with leaving a six year old (who you say is comfortable getting help from other adults) at a supervised activity for forty five minutes without her mother? I'm guessing everyone here would disapprove of a toddler playing alone unsupervised outdoors, but most people here see no problem with a six year old attending a supervised activity without mom or regularly spending time alone with dad.
I'm bringing it up because the other parents in my neighborhood who see me outside watching my kids are mostly the ones who I'm hearing comments from. I have been hearing comments here and there throughout the years from a couple people in the family, not often. Unfortunately the same one's making the comments have no interest in having a relationship with my kids and have never offered them to come over to their house or to take them somewhere. They are the ones I rarely see or talk to. It was all those comments and then on top of that when I was looking at activities for her to do the first two said I couldn't stay even the first time that led me to want to post asking what's up with all the pressure. I just didn't get the big deal about my wanting to stay there at least the first few times until I could see that she liked it and was okay with staying without me and wanted to do it. It does seem related to me, its as if all of these people feel that dd should have been going off without me long ago, to daycare and preschool, so that she should be used to it already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Are you surprised by the reaction you got here? I think if you have only heard the suggestion that it was time to allow more independence coming from people who you view as neglectful toward their children or insensitive to AP, it may be a surprise to find out that many people who share the core committment to AP also think it is time to start weaning. Do you find any legitimate suggestions or observations in this thread? Do you totally dismiss the experience of other parents who have found their children benefitted in confidence, attachment to other adults, etc. by having independent time?
I am somewhat surprised that some AP mommas feel I am doing damage because dd hasn't been away from me much. I am also suprised that it is a big deal and somehow wrong for me to want to be at the activity the first few times. Until she gets the feel of it I want her to know I am there and she has the choice to stay or go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Do you feel at all like you are shortchanging your daughter or her dad by not letting them have a relationship really independent of you?
It isn't that I haven't 'let' her have a relationship with her father really independent from me. They do spend time without me often while I am doing something else, how would my leaving the house be so different than my leaving the room? Dp works very long hours and we do like to spend alot of his time off as a whole family, but he also spends time with the children as individuals, just as I do. And as I said the times when they have asked recently to stay when I have an errand to run they have. If I didn't trust my dp as you think would I have left? Would I even be with him? We live our lives how we live them, it just doesn't seem odd to me at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Really, that's surprising! You seem VERY tied to the "what if" about Brownie's or dance! More than likely she would have fun, but you are denying her the experience based on your idea of "what if" she didn't!
Lol, ok, I see what you are saying. I wasn't trying to say that I don't think about what ifs at times I was saying that I'm not going to make a parenting decision of whether to leave a child based on a what if of impending doom like the possible fear of dying. I know others who have and I actually respect the amount ofinsight involved, it just isn't for me that's all. I do not even really think she will not be perfectly fine, I just have a desire to be there for her if she isn't. It is definitely a what if though .

And again I will say that I am not denying her the experience. She is six years old for heaven's sake. I guess other people feel she should have been doing things like this away from me since she was a toddler. They are entitled to their opinion. I am comfortable with encouraging her now at her present age and that is why I amlooking into things for her. If she had wanted to earlier, I would have made it happen for her. We did do some library times together when she was younger and she has had other kids to play with for quite awhile now. As I said we have just been living our life and it really doesn't seem odd or damaging to me. I am a stay at home mom who wants to be one. I don't desire to go out on dates, neither does dp. We prefer our time alone, ALONE. There just hasn't been much reason to consider her going somewhere without me.
post #63 of 97
I have been thinking about this thread, lol.

For me, it boils down to risks and benefits. It is important to me that my dc learns to take some risks when there is a strong chance of reward. To me, that means overcoming some initial discomfort, pushing herself a bit to do something that sounds like fun....but a little bit scary at first. And seeing that she *can* do it, and is really glad she tried. Because she reaps the rewards. This is a challenge for me, and for dd (we are similar in this way)--but a challenge we face head on.

At this age, for most children, the risks of attending a class alone (with trusted adults) are outweighed by the benefits. At a younger age, the child might not have actually chosen the activity, and might not understand that mommy will be back in an hour. But at this age, most children can choose an activity and understand when mommy will be back. The risks seem pretty low.

At this age, I have found the benefits of attending a class alone (with trusted adults) to be very high. Dd has gained self-confidence. I've gained confidence in her. She has more trusted adults in her life--and qualitatively different relationships with them. It has been a really positive thing for her. And it has opened more opportunities for her, as she carries less anxiety into trying the next thing (same for me.....as I said earlier, I had some anxiety about leaving her initially). And that is important because, as Roar mentioned, it becomes increasingly difficult to find activities that welcome parents as children grow older.

How do you perceive the risks/benefits of her having activities without you? Do you perceive the risks to be high or low? The benefits high or low? Is your risk assessment keeping you from encouraging her to try (or making her less likely to try)? I ask because you sound a lot like me, and there was a point where I realized that *my* anxiety was holding dd back. She could sense my anxiety, and it fed into her own. But we conquered our fears, together, and are both really glad that we did!
post #64 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Many of us have really happy memories of trips to the park, or out for breakfast, or to the store to buy a gift for mom, just with dad. I know it always feels like a special thing to our son because Dad gets less hours due to work. We certainly all enjoy activities together, but there is something special about that one on one time too. It would be a sad thing in my book to deny them that experience.
I never said dd hasn't done that! In the past year and a half she has done this at least two dozen times, ds has a handful of times. They have made trips to the grocery, library, and gas station while I stayed home with the other child. Honestly I have no concerns about my dp's relationship with his children. Anytime they want to leave with him or stay with him we work it out so they do, as long as it isn't ds asking to go to work with dp, as he has a couple times. That just isn't possible.
post #65 of 97
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input everyone, I never thought this thread would get so long, lol. I've been spending way too much time on it!
post #66 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post

I am somewhat surprised that some AP mommas feel I am doing damage because dd hasn't been away from me much. I am also suprised that it is a big deal and somehow wrong for me to want to be at the activity the first few times. Until she gets the feel of it I want her to know I am there and she has the choice to stay or go.
I think the reaction had less to do with the desire to transition her into an activity, but with the fact that you don't seem to understand any value to independent activities. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding. Other than fun, can you see that a child generally, or your daughter specifically, may benefit from having activities independent of their moms. What benefits do you see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post

I do not even really think she will not be perfectly fine, I just have a desire to be there for her if she isn't. It is definitely a what if though .
So, is it more about what YOU want or what she NEEDS? I think it is important to sort that out. What have been trying to get you to put it in words. What is the negative thing that you think could happen? What would happen if you weren't there for less than an hour and she wasn't having a fantastic time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
I am a stay at home mom who wants to be one. I don't desire to go out on dates, neither does dp. We prefer our time alone, ALONE. There just hasn't been much reason to consider her going somewhere without me.
So, are SAHMs who go out on a date, or spend time alone with an aging relative, or go out for lunch with a girlfriend, or who go to the gym alone...they don't want to be a SAHM? Since when does being a SAHM mean you aren't allowed to have friends or activities separate from your kids?
post #67 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
I never said dd hasn't done that! In the past year and a half she has done this at least two dozen times, ds has a handful of times. They have made trips to the grocery, library, and gas station while I stayed home with the other child. Honestly I have no concerns about my dp's relationship with his children. Anytime they want to leave with him or stay with him we work it out so they do, as long as it isn't ds asking to go to work with dp, as he has a couple times. That just isn't possible.
I was going based on your original post and it said she's stayed home with two dozen times with her dad and has gone places with him a dozen times in her entire life. Out of a couple of thousand days in six years that seems like very, very little.

And, again I don't really understand the standard of waiting until the child specifically asks for something when they see no example of it in their life. How is a kid supposed to know to ask to go to the driving range alone with dad if they've never been there, don't know it exists, don't have any idea that there is a value in time spent alone?

Do you think there is anything gained for your dp or the kids with having alone time?
post #68 of 97
I get the impression that Miss Ruby's kids DO have alone time, and she does too, right there at home. As an introvert who's comfortable with being one, she's much more likely to sense and respect her daughter's need for alone time than a more extraverted parent.

Also, what about all the kids who NEVER get to see their parents being creative in the home? How will this lack affect their perception of staying-at-home as an option? You're right that kids don't tend to pursue things they never got to observe. I think Miss Ruby gives her kids a WHOLE LOT to observe and grow on.
post #69 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I was going based on your original post and it said she's stayed home with two dozen times with her dad and has gone places with him a dozen times in her entire life. Out of a couple of thousand days in six years that seems like very, very little.

And, again I don't really understand the standard of waiting until the child specifically asks for something when they see no example of it in their life. How is a kid supposed to know to ask to go to the driving range alone with dad if they've never been there, don't know it exists, don't have any idea that there is a value in time spent alone?

Do you think there is anything gained for your dp or the kids with having alone time?
I have been examining this and I really took the time today to sit and think about all the times when I have left the house alone or with one of the kids or dh has left with one of them while the other child and I stayed home and it has been more than I guessed at originally. There were a more than a handful of times when both children stayed home and I went shopping that didn't even cross my mind. It just isn't important to me.

I am not saying it shouldn't be important to other moms to shop alone or go out with friends or on dates at all. I am not saying anything any other mom should do. What I do and want has nothing to do with what any of you do and want. We are individuals. I am a stay at home mom who enjoys her time at home with her children connecting and her time at home with her children but alone as the most desirable thing to do, even though I love things like the park, and nature trail, and library and zoo. That is me, not you or anyone else.

It seems to me you won't be satisified until I say that I have not left my children enough and that I have stunted my dd's relationship with her dad and not 'allowed' her to form relationships with other adults. That is not going to happen. I am fine with what I have done. I am no perfect parent, there is no such thing, but I AM a good mom who loves her kids and is secure that they are growing into wonderful little people who are respectful and friendly, smart and kind.

I don't think the world would crumble if I left her at one of these activities and she didn't want to stay. I just don't see why I should when I am confident that I will find something where that isn't the case, if not then I will talk to her about it again and go from there. Is there a reason why I shouldn't be looking for an alternative for her first time going to a place she has never been with people she has never met without me?

And I already said all of us get alone time. Just because we are in the same vincinity doesn't mean we are up each other's butts all day.
post #70 of 97
Miss Ruby wrote, "Just because we are in the same vicinity doesn't mean we are up each other's butts all day." LOL, I love it!
post #71 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
If your happy with the arrangement in your family then why ask why. Who cares what other's think about
it. There is only pressure in your life if you allow it to be there. It takes energy to wonder where this
train of thought is it coming from and where is it going? If your happy that's all that matters...right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
I get what you mean and agree with the gist of it. I am naturally a curious person and almost always like to examine both or all sides of things to better understand myself and the people and world about me, yk? I guess that's why I ask why, mainly curiousity and to assuage my lack of understanding.
MissRuby you have got all kinds of opinions to your OP. My thought is that if your dd was 4 or even 5 maybe some of the opinions would be slightly different. By 6 many (not all) kids are enjoying many activities without their parents. The majority are attending school so a part of their day is with other trusted adults.

I personally believe that your listening to your dd's desires. If she had shown a strong interest in a activity you would make it happen for her. That is the true meaning to attachment parenting. Listening to your children's desires and needs. I imagine that by age 6 many children ask their parents to be involved with some sort of activity. That might explain the "pressure" from people IRL and here. As long as you feel comfortable and secure with your choices that is really what is most important.

It's one thing to be naturally curious to why people think or believe certain things. It's another to waste valuable energy and time trying to convince other's that your personal choices are right for your family. Look at all the posts you posted defending your choices. You wondered why people think the way they do, and you got many answers why. There is no need for you to justify and explain your choices. They're your personal choices. Only you know your children, your family.

Surround yourself in the confidence that your choices are perfectly fine for your family.
If I had a nickel for every person who questioned my parenting choices I would be a rich
woman. If I had a conversation or debate with every person who questioned my parenting
choices, I would have wasted time that is better spent on other things. God Bless.
post #72 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
I have been examining this and I really took the time today to sit and think about all the times when I have left the house alone or with one of the kids or dh has left with one of them while the other child and I stayed home and it has been more than I guessed at originally. There were a more than a handful of times when both children stayed home and I went shopping that didn't even cross my mind. It just isn't important to me.
Saw that one coming a mile away.

Your initial query was about why people are encouraging some weaning, the "it isn't important to me" probably has a lot to do with it. I'd hoped you might really engage with and consider potential benefits, but I guess it isn't someplace you want to and/or can go right now.

Oh well, best wishes.
post #73 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
Dance class- No parents allowed, except through a viewing window three times a year.
As a dance teacher, and AP mom, this just makes me cringe! In my classes, parents are welcome to stay and watch! They can even hear what is going on (in one of the rooms, anyway - the other room is harder to hear).

Find a different studio. There is NO reason that the parents shouldn't be able to stay and watch, if they want.
post #74 of 97
Miss Ruby, after reading Roar's comment that what may be bothering people is your ATTITUDE that it's not important to YOU to get out of the house without your kids -- well, I think that makes it pretty clear. You're responsive to your daughter and are looking for activities she might enjoy, activities where you can go along at first until she gets to know the people and feels comfortable -- but the thing that doesn't set well with others is the fact that YOU'LL be perfectly happy whether she goes to activities on her own or not. You're wanting to respond to HER needs, but YOUR needs are already being met just fine. There are people who have a problem with your contentment, that's all.

I realize you already feel you've spent enough time dwelling on this, so I'm really not trying to keep it going -- but this has given me a lot of food for thought. I've been wondering a lot about the arbitrary "norms" people assign to different ages. I've already mentioned that, 100 years ago, I think most children separated from their parents to attend school at around nine. The nine and ten year olds were the "little kids" in those days. Since nine is about the time the majority of kids are ready, visually and mentally, for reading and more symbolic learning, this makes sense. Why was the age lowered to five or six? I'm not sure, but it may have more to do with the desire of educators to get kids used to the "rules" at a younger age; nine-year-olds who aren't used to raising their hands to speak, get up and stretch their legs, or use the restroom aren't going to adapt as easily to the school regime as timid six-year-olds.

I'm not saying this to criticize anyone who feels it's best to send their six-year-old to school -- just to point out that, in our not-too-distant history, age six may have been seen as too young for separation from parents. Rather than judging parents who separate from their kids later than, or earlier than, this golden age -- why not just trust the parents to know their kids?
post #75 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

I've been wondering a lot about the arbitrary "norms" people assign to different ages. I've already mentioned that, 100 years ago, I think most children separated from their parents to attend school at around nine.

The nine and ten year olds were the "little kids" in those days.
I have no idea where you get your history from. In most of human history even young children have labored and labored hard. There are still places in the world where 6 year olds work all day. I recall reading that the age of six was selected as the age to begin school because that was when children were strong enough to carry their lunchpails. In Colonial times many children worked at apprenticeships by the age of 11 - remember Ben Franklin? They certainly weren't viewed as little kids incapable of being away from Mommy for a minute. Either way I wonder what it matters to the experience of a child in the United States today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Rather than judging parents who separate from their kids later than, or earlier than, this golden age -- why not just trust the parents to know their kids?
Do you think parents absolutely always know the right thing to do and always know every single thing their kids think or need? I sure don't!
post #76 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000
It's one thing to be naturally curious to why people think or believe certain things. It's another to waste valuable energy and time trying to convince other's that your personal choices are right for your family. Look at all the posts you posted defending your choices. You wondered why people think the way they do, and you got many answers why. There is no need for you to justify and explain your choices. They're your personal choices. Only you know your children, your family.

Surround yourself in the confidence that your choices are perfectly fine for your family.
If I had a nickel for every person who questioned my parenting choices I would be a rich
woman. If I had a conversation or debate with every person who questioned my parenting
choices, I would have wasted time that is better spent on other things. God Bless.
Wise words momma. : I am one of those nerds who actually enjoys debate for the sake of learning. After my last post I was quite done with offering my side to Roar because it is quite clear we just won't be seeing eye to eye on this. So I will agree to disagree. Sometimes it is just as likely that the one who is trying to do all the convincing that another is wrong may learn something as it is the one who is just explaining their position. There is something to be said for not deciding for others what should be done and what is best for them. The old adage judge not lest ye be judged rings true to me, judgement is often best left to myself I find. Definitely when I judge others I can be sure someone somewhere is judging me too : .

I came into this curious and very mildly frustrated. Over the years I have not so much as said a word to other people who make comment, rather ask that they pass the bean dip . I will say that Roar is right about one thing I have lost interest in the reasons why some do this. I realize it is as varied as the individual's opinions and am satisfied knowing that there are many reasons why. I will continue to let them roll off my back.
post #77 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann-Marita
As a dance teacher, and AP mom, this just makes me cringe! In my classes, parents are welcome to stay and watch! They can even hear what is going on (in one of the rooms, anyway - the other room is harder to hear).

Find a different studio. There is NO reason that the parents shouldn't be able to stay and watch, if they want.
Thanks for this. Its good to know. It actually has given me a lift this morning just picturing parents enjoying their little darlings having fun at your dance studio. How fun is that!
post #78 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama
Miss Ruby, after reading Roar's comment that what may be bothering people is your ATTITUDE that it's not important to YOU to get out of the house without your kids -- well, I think that makes it pretty clear. You're responsive to your daughter and are looking for activities she might enjoy, activities where you can go along at first until she gets to know the people and feels comfortable -- but the thing that doesn't set well with others is the fact that YOU'LL be perfectly happy whether she goes to activities on her own or not. You're wanting to respond to HER needs, but YOUR needs are already being met just fine. There are people who have a problem with your contentment, that's all.
Yes there is value in following individual needs and wants rather than a cultural norm. I do place great value on her wants and needs and her consent. I am not going to coerce into something she doesn't want. She is a smart and competent little girl who definitely has a mind of her own! Her life belongs to her, not me, I am there to guide her through it and give her information and support through these early years IMO, not force something on her because 'I know best' for her. I'm quite sure any benefit gained by an hour of class a week would be at a loss to our relationship if I coerced her into it. She holds the reins to her life, so I will offer and look and let her know about oppurtunities.

I'm quite sure the girl will soon enough spread those metaphorical wings as far as spending time with others without mom. As a matter of fact I'm betting that in a few years she'll be requesting to do so often enough. If not I will not be concerned because it is her choice. It may actually not have much to do with me per se at all. Perhaps like me she prefers her home, her space, her territory to others. If so that is her choice. She can chose which activities she wants to attend and when she is done. Why would I desire to force something on her because I thought I knew best when she is the best judge of what she wants and needs. She knows she has only to let me know of them and I will do my best to help whatever happen for her if she needs help.

I like the idea another poster (sorry can't remember who) gave about staying but just outside too. I actually recall now that my own mom did this when I went to 4-H and girl scouts as a girl. This may be the route to go, I would be available if needed and I could be reading or crocheting (yah!) while she is doing her thing.
post #79 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma earthical
Actually I'm a bit envious of how you describe having time to sew, and crochet, and read! My two youngest are still so small that seems like a long way away!
When they were younger I often took time to write on my book when they were eating a meal or snack. Sure it was interrupted often, but it was still nice to snatch those minutes to be absorbed in something for myself. I also valued nap time as time to read a book. Of cousre they both stopped taking naps when ds was about 20 mos though! Dd took one with him every day right up until then when he apparently decided he needed a nap no longer and they put up some sort of mini united front . Didn't take me long to realize my energy spent on gentle encouragements to go to sleep was wasted.

Anyway it was around age 3 that ds' interest in imaginative play really kicked in and after that an hour or more would pass with them being so into what they were playing that they wouldn't need anything at all from me. It still is that way though sometimes I feel like I can be cleaning for an hour and then as soon as I sit down to type I am needed lol. Its all in the timing I suppose. Hey I'm going to need to get mindful of that aren't I ? Maybe, really I am content with the balance of my days these days, things are going quite smooth.

I really have been spending alot of time on this thread these past days! Off to sew on costumes now, we're going to the Renaissance Festival for the first time this year, and I only have a couple of weeks to get us all outfitted for the fun!
post #80 of 97
Roar, I'll be honest that I haven't extensively studied history. Within the last couple of years, I've read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books to my daughter, and I'm basing what I said about school entrance ages on that. You're absolutely right that, until fairly recent in our history, children did work alongside their parents and most six-year-olds were doing many of the things their same-sex parents did. As you recall, Miss Ruby also brings her kids along when she helps others and they help, too.

I actually think Laura (Ingalls Wilder) and her sisters got a much wider range of experience than kids of today who go to school. Yes, I realize some children were badly exploited during this time. I'm not saying I want to re-create the pioneer days or anything like that. My point was that I always think we should look at the current norms with a questioning eye, especially when we're trying to use those norms to influence the child-rearing decisions of others.

Yes, I really do agree with the Sears that attachment parenting helps parents to become experts in their own children. While we can and should learn from others, we should never allow the advice of others to override our own instincts about what's best for our kids.
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